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Swift excells in the snow

Created on 30/04/2018 @ 09:31

Test Report by Graham Breeze

With the UK under a deep blanket of snow and transport grinding to a halt I wasn’t prepared for the amazing performance of the Suzuki Swift Allgrip.

Living on the top of a hill has distinct disadvantages when winter strikes as viscously as it did this year when gritting lorries were about as rare as hen’s teeth – but that’s when the little Swift came to the fore.

Posing big 4X4 drivers seem to appear from everywhere when the white stuff falls but like me they stared in amazement as the little Suzuki swept effortlessly up the hills, where others were failing miserably.

The Allgrip system on the 1.2SZ5 on test activated at the flick of a switch and turned the little Suzuki into something completely unexpected, encouraging this driver out into the snow at every single opportunity.

But the Swift isn’t all about its performance in four-wheel drive. At launch designers were tasked with the production of new hatchback styling without damaging the concept of a very popular car. They have done exactly what they were asked to.

The Swift rests on a new generation platform that Suzuki has called “Heartect” ensuring enhanced vehicle performance by being lighter yet even more rigid than the former offering.

The model arriving in the UK will come in five-door format only and was created specifically for the European market, recognising the different demands of drivers worldwide. It’s an all-new model from floor to roof but is still unmistakably a Swift.

The car may be lower but some clever design trickery means lower seating levels and identical headroom for front seat passengers, though in the rear there’s an extra 23mm.

Behind the wheel is a comfortable place to be with a neat and tidy facia boasting sporty white accents and satin chrome throughout the cockpit, working with a basic black theme to create a high contrast interior spec, though some rivals will claim more quality.

The instrument cluster offers either colour or monochrome LCD in the centre with a coolant temperature and fuel gauge incorporated within the two main gauges.

The 1.2 Dualjet engine is really perky, though you do need to keep the revs up when taking on those challenging hills, producing an impressive 62.7mpg on the combined cycle with a maximum speed of 105mph and 0-62mph in 12.6 seconds. CO2 figures are low at 101g/km.

With an on-the-road price of £16,499 this Swift came with ABS with EBD brake assist, ESP, six airbags, side protection impact beams, tyre pressure monitor, hill-hold control and high beam assist.

For added security there’s an immobiliser, remote door locking and deadlocks while comfort is improved with cruise control, electric windows, tilt adjustable steering wheel, gear shift indicator, temperature display and rear 60/40 splitting seats.

Storage space is good. There are three cup holders, a big glovebox, centre console storage bins and bottle holder space in the door pockets. You will need the seats down to house the golf cubs though.

Plenty attentions has been taken to making the Swift look good too wit polished 16inch alloy wheels, body coloured exterior door handles and mirrors, black pillars, rear privacy glass, a three-spoke leather steering wheel and rear upper spoiler.

Suzuki’s grip on the UK market is starting to tighten. The Swift is a real success story for the Japanese company and with a new Sport edition being revealed this week the future looks really bright.


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